Application of Methodical DoubtJune 27, 2021
Descartes first states that the field of knowledge he provides with his senses is open to doubt. Because he realized that his senses deceive him from time to time in this area. Therefore, he will not find universal truth in the knowledge of this field.
In general, he thinks of other people he sees as sensitive individuals who have the power of sense and reason like himself. What if they are beings who act not as they think, but as mere automatons? This area also seems open to doubt. Descartes thinks that his own existence and life may also be under doubt in this respect: while people are dreaming, they live the dream as if it were real, if we do not wake up, the dream will go on as if it were real. However, when we wake up, we realize that we are in our bed and have not taken any action. Maybe life is a longer dream that we will wake up to one day.
Where then is the boundary between dream and real life? Even God, as we know, may not be a supreme, virtuous, wise being, but an evil demon who takes pleasure in deception. Maybe he’s deliberately showing us everything upside down. In this respect, most importantly, it may be possible to show our most trusted mathematical knowledge as the opposite of what it is by deliberately misleading our memory. In other words, the field of mathematics, which we know as the most robust field of knowledge, may be completely wrong from its origin by the grace of God.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook